Ich bin ein Kafe Berliner — German-styled cafe celebrates grand opening on First Hill

(Images: Rob Ketcherside)

On occasion here at CHS we saunter over to First Hill for a drink or to deliver a baby. Like you, we’ve noticed that there are some glaring entrepreneurial gaps in the neighborhood. One of them fills in Wednesday with the grand opening of Kafe Berlin at 613 9th Avenue, between James and Cherry.

This German-themed cafe is fittingly in the first floor of Seattle’s German House. Kafe serves German sausages, a variety of panini and Euro sandwiches, pastries from Little Prague Bakery in Ballard West Seattle as well as turnovers and cinnamon rolls baked onsite.


No word yet on jelly doughnuts.

Although the space is small it’s very exciting and sure to draw in students from nearby O’Dea High School. However, Kafe Berlin’s owners are targeting the adults with a 5a to 6a coffee happy hour for a cheaper dose of Tony’s Coffee.

The bright exterior was understatedly referred to as “an improvement to the building” by the Landmarks Preservation Board. They got involved because the German House is a city landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s better known as having been the U.S. Assay Office from 1898 to 1932 — where the hundreds of millions of dollars in gold and silver brought down from the Klondike and Nome were processed. We’ll have more about that soon.

You may be scratching your head about the location, so here’s a better description. It’s on the road that goes through Harborview, but on the other side of James. It’s straight down Cherry from Swedish. It’s a convenient block from the Frye Art Museum and has a Number 60 Metro stop right in front. Kafe Berlin can hope for Sunday rushes from St. James Cathedral, the Trinity Parish, and an assortment of gravely-injured, hungover Capitol Hill residents staggering out of the emergency room who need a couple shots of espresso.

Kafe Berlin is open 5a to 4p Monday through Friday, and 8a to 4p Saturday and Sunday.You can learn more on Kafe Berlin’s Facebook page.

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10 thoughts on “Ich bin ein Kafe Berliner — German-styled cafe celebrates grand opening on First Hill

  1. I’m a huge fan of their kolach and strudels and usually go to the University or Broadway Farmer’s Market to get my fix so that I don’t have trek all the way to West Seattle. Now I can get them even closer and everyday to boot! So glad to hear we are getting more German food and drink options in Seattle, hopefully you can add great German beer with your sausages. Prost!

  2. If they start serving berliners, I’m going to have to pretend for just a little moment that I’m not sensitive to gluten. I’ll be the woman in the corner in a gluten coma with jelly and a smile on my face.

  3. When my guy and I stopped in yesterday, they tried to serve him a Starbucks-style macchiato instead of a traditional one, and they didn’t have any ceramic cups. The woman behind the counter said that since all the food was “to go,” they didn’t have dishes. But they did have tables for eating there, so we sat at a table and ate our pastry off a paper plate and slurped good drinks out of paper cups. Good luck to them, and I hope they get some real dishes! Is it a complicated health code issue or something?

  4. Hi, Just wanted to let everyone know that our hours have evolved to 6am to 7pm 7 days a week. And we are not a traditional German deli. We have most of all the popular German items we have all come to love, however we also are working with a limited amount of space, 550 sq ft to be exact and catering to the surrounding community (meaning the residential and hospitals). That said, we offer american treats as well. Oh and one more thing we do not have a dish washer we get to WASH ALL THE DISHES by hand. With our small space we did not have the room to get a commercial restaurant dish washer so the health department made us get a 3 compartment sink. Hence everything is to go and no “ceramic dishes”. That would be hell everyday to wash that many dishes by hand… Could you imagine? Talk about going back in history.